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General cycling issues (Is Toronto bike friendly?)

RC8

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The 12.8m cross-section is the problem. Since Harbord is an emergency vehicle corridor, I don't think there's a lot of will to make the car lanes thinner in that stretch.

All I'm hoping for is that the cycle path widens significantly (by 1.2m) in the wider section. That way the area that will inevitably be constantly congested for cyclists will be small and bearable still.
 

the lemur

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Toronto city council approves city-wide active living path

Read More: http://globalnews.ca/news/727537/toronto-city-council-approves-city-wide-active-living-path/


In a 37-1 vote, Toronto city council has approved a multi-use cycling and pedestrian path that will connect Toronto from Brampton to Scarborough.

- To date, the path proposal has been met with widespread support. A June staff report recommended that city council approve the path initiative, calling it a highly visible project that would be used by hundreds of thousands of residents and tourists every year “for active transportation and recreation purposes.†Several community members have spoken out in support of the path, urging city council to approve the plan. “This project is simple, but truly powerful in its feasibility and impact,†Denise Pinto, operations director for Jane’s Walk, said in a letter to the city’s executive committee last month.

- In addition to promoting active and healthy living, the path will connect residents, businesses and artists in seven of Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods, or Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs) –currently underserved in terms of economic opportunities, investments and infrastructure. These designated neighbourhoods are the focus of a city plan to “advance equitable outcomes for all neighbourhoods,†through targeted investments in outdoor space and recreational facilities, and engaging local businesses and community groups in neighbourhood planning.

.....

Is this the same as the proposed Pan Am path, or something else?
 

ahm

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i don't know any of the details, but my sister-in-law's father was injured so severely riding his bicycle this week that they don't expect him to survive the emergency surgery with any chance of a decent quality of life. life support is likely getting removed this evening. so, small towns ain't so safe to cycle in either in ontario, never mind toronto.
 

reaperexpress

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The 12.8m cross-section is the problem. Since Harbord is an emergency vehicle corridor, I don't think there's a lot of will to make the car lanes thinner in that stretch.

There is plenty of will from people who want proper cycling infrastructure, both inside and outside of the City government. I am proposing 3.3m car lanes, which is exactly the same width as currently exists on the rest of the corridor, and also happens to be the width that is planned in the City's bidirectional cycle track design.

All I'm hoping for is that the cycle path widens significantly (by 1.2m) in the wider section. That way the area that will inevitably be constantly congested for cyclists will be small and bearable still.

There is no need to hope, you can simply go to the city's website and see the plans for yourself. The cross sections are on pages 13-15 of this presentation. The paths go from "3.0-3.5m" in the 12.8m section to "3.5-4.0m" in the 14m section. Meanwhile in the 14m section the car lanes are proposed to be widened from 3.3m to 3.5m.
 
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RC8

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Thanks for that link, I didn't know those were out.

While this probably won't suit me as a fast and experienced cyclist, this type of super safe infrastructure is completely necessary for Toronto's children, the elderly, and less experienced cyclists.

If we build this type of cycle-tracks throughout the core, the rise in cycling will be so large as a result that they'll need to convert more streets to accommodate us all eventually. All in all, I'm relatively optimistic.

P.S. Having experienced the 3.2m wide new sections of the Martin Goodman Trail on Queens Quay, it doesn't feel too crammed.
 
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reaperexpress

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Thanks for that link, I didn't know those were out.

While this probably won't suit me as a fast and experienced cyclist, this type of super safe infrastructure is completely necessary for Toronto's children, the elderly, and less experienced cyclists.

If we build this type of cycle-tracks throughout the core, the rise in cycling will be so large as a result that they'll need to convert more streets to accommodate us all eventually. All in all, I'm relatively optimistic.

Absolutely! And it's nice to have some optimists around here too :)

However, my concern is that this cycle track isn't actually super-safe, since they can't adequately mitigate the conflicts between the bidirectional cycle track and turning vehicles at minor intersections. As I understand it, they are modifying the traffic signals to eliminate conflicts at major intersections at least.

I think that the 3 - 4m width of the proposed cycle track would actually not at all be a problem for faster cyclists. I regularily ride the 3.6m-wide Finch Hydro Corridor path, and you can easily get 3 cyclists side by side, and even four is (just) possible. The problem is the delays at traffic signals and conflicts at unsignalized intersections, both of which affect everyone equally. I don't really think it's an issue of fast cyclists vs slow cyclists.
 
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reaperexpress

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P.S. Having experienced the 3.2m wide new sections of the Martin Goodman Trail on Queens Quay, it doesn't feel too crammed.

Yeah, 3.0-3.5m width is usually sufficient for bidirectional paths. It's only when bicycle traffic is heavy or you start throwing in pedestrians that it starts becoming a problem. Like the 5m wide section of MGT along Ontario Place, which is a mess, meanwhile many 3m paths are just fine.

I still think they should have kept the 4.0m bicycle path width from the original Queens Quay redesign plans, rather than the 3.5m width they went width for the central portion. The cycle path will likely be extremely busy, justifying the width.

But thinking about Harbord some more, I'm starting to doubt myself. If the signals have a lot of red time on the cycle track, cyclists will get bunched together so the effective traffic is much higher than somewhere such as the MGT where signals have negligible effect.
 
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RC8

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Those details are relatively easy to fix in the grand scheme of things, though. Hopefully they don't wait until an accident happens to make sure it's all tuned up.

As for the size, this is an indication of what to expect:

4428_new_sidewalk_and_mgt_before_line_painting_1_870_450_both_.jpg


Now if we could just have a network of these going into every neighbourhood, then we'd be onto something.
 

cassius

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Am I seeing a bike path on the right and a sidewalk on the left? Or is the bike path on the street? If it's the former, there will definitely need to be additional separation of some sort. Perhaps a yellow line or something. You can be sure that walkers/joggers will dart onto the bike lane without first looking behind them to see if someone is coming.
 

RC8

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Technically that's still a connecting part of the Martin Goodman Trail. The path and the sidewalk are indeed side by side.

I don't know if you've ever travelled to Humber Bay shores over the weekend on said trail, but it's full of joggers and road cyclists and somehow people get along.

Long before I took to cycling in Toronto I used to walk around multi-use paths full of bicycles and to be honest I barely noticed them. Bikes are just not that scary and they shouldn't be.
 

k10ery

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Am I seeing a bike path on the right and a sidewalk on the left? Or is the bike path on the street? If it's the former, there will definitely need to be additional separation of some sort. Perhaps a yellow line or something. You can be sure that walkers/joggers will dart onto the bike lane without first looking behind them to see if someone is coming.

Anybody who's dealt with these on-sidewalk bike paths in Europe knows that as a pedestrian you make that mistake once or twice, but after getting buzzed by bikes a few times you start remembering to check. Respect!
 

PinkLucy

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I don't know if you've ever travelled to Humber Bay shores over the weekend on said trail, but it's full of joggers and road cyclists and somehow people get along.
For the most part, true. I walk and bike the MGT regularly. I stay to the right unless passing as do most regular users (you start recognizing people after a while). This morning, however, I almost got hit by a speeding cyclist coming towards me. He was passing on a curve, and even though I was right over on the edge of the trail, he barely missed me. I have been hit twice while walking, both times by people passing me on the right (on the grass). When I am riding, I am amazed at how many people on foot and on wheels will make sudden turns or stops without looking or will step out on to the path, will let dogs run loose or children dart. You have to be constantly aware of the people around you. It does depend on when you are using the trail though. Mornings are generally good (commuters and regular users), early afternoons have light traffic, evenings can be busy, and summer weekend afternoons can be busy with lots of picnics and events in the parks. Hot days are dicey around Sunnyside pool!
 

ShonTron

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Anybody who's dealt with these on-sidewalk bike paths in Europe knows that as a pedestrian you make that mistake once or twice, but after getting buzzed by bikes a few times you start remembering to check. Respect!

Ah, yes. The tourist in Amsterdam who complains of almost being run down not realizing (s)he is gawking at buildings or canals while standing in the middle of a bike path.
 

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